Living Well with IBD
What is Living Well with IBD?
The Living Well with IBD course is a self-management programme delivered over six weeks in weekly sessions of two and a half hours. The course involves putting you, as the person who is living with Crohn’s or colitis, at the centre of your care. It encourages you to think about the lifestyle, thoughts, moods and behaviours that make up who are, in addition to your illness or disease. The programme was originally developed at Stanford University as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Programme (CDSMP). Through a collaboration with Beaumont Hospital since 2012, volunteers from the ISCC have a wealth of experience in delivering this programme to people who are living with, or impacted by, a range of long-term health conditions. The Beaumont Hospital programme is known as Better Health, Better Living. The ISCC has been delighted to be a partner with Beaumont Hospital in this amazing programme. In 2018 we obtained our own licence to run the programme and Living Well with IBD was born!
Self-management is at the centre of Living Well with IBD and is designed to enable you to deal with the daily challenges of living with a health condition such as IBD. It can help you to develop the skills you need to become an active self-manager of your condition and to live a happier and healthier life. YOU decide what is important to you and you are then given the skills to help you achieve these goals.
Techniques used include:
- Dealing with difficult emotions
- Making decisions
- Pain and fatigue management
- Exercise and physical activity
- Relaxation techniques
- Better breathing
- Healthy eating and weight management
- Communication skills
- Problem solving
- Dealing with depression
- Action planning
- Making informed treatment decisions
What can I expect from the programme?
During the six 2.5-hour weekly sessions you will meet between 10 and 12 other people who are also living with or impacted by IBD. If you are comfortable to do so, you will have the opportunity to share your experiences with each other. Previous participants in the Stanford CDSMP courses have reported the following outcomes:
- Increased knowledge about self managing their condition
- Increased self confidence
- Decreased depression
- Decreased pain
- Reduction in hospital visits and reliance on their GP in relation to the management of their condition
Who runs the programme?
The programme is delivered by two trained leaders, at least one of whom must be themselves living with a long-term health condition (such as Crohn’s or colitis).
Is this a support group or group therapy?
The Living Well with IBD programme is a practical series of classes that teaches new skills. Although many people find it supportive it isn’t therapy! It is taught by volunteers who have the lived experience of a long-term health condition, and sometimes also by healthcare providers from many disciplines.
Who can take part?
Anyone who is living with a long-term health condition such as Crohn’s or colitis is welcome to attend the programme. With the help of dedicated volunteers, many support organisations have been running this programme for people with a number of health conditions, with a great deal of success. People worldwide have found it useful for a wide range of conditions, including Crohn’s and colitis.
Testimonials from past participants
To be honest, it just felt like I had found the remaining pieces of the jigsaw puzzle. I would wholeheartedly recommend that all patients who have any chronic condition get to avail of this programme.
The most important thing that I have accomplished in the group is learning to speak more openly about my condition. Previously I would not have spoken openly about the level of pain or discomfort that I suffer… the other thing I learned was to set achievable targets or goals for the week ahead... once you have reached your target there is a great sense of accomplishment and pride.
The camaraderie in the room had an uplifting effect. It was very comfortable being with other people with similar conditions. One of the most helpful outcomes of the course is the various relaxation techniques. We were taught about and practised breathing exercises and also used imagination techniques to virtually go to a Happy Place!
Is there a fee?
The programme itself is offered free of charge to participants, however we ask for a discretionary contribution of €15 towards the cost of the accompanying manual Self-management of Long-term health conditions.
When are the next programmes?
We are currently planning our programmes for the rest of 2019.
For more information
Please contact Laura on (01) 872 1416 (Mon, Wed, Fri 9.30am to 12.30pm) or email email@example.com
Living Well with IBD has been assisted with a grant from the Social Innovation Fund of Ireland.